"Tour Jackets, Souvenirs, and Trinkets" Long Thanh near Camp Bearcat, Vietnam 1967

I just recently completed this diorama barely in time for the Tulsa Figure Show. This diorama depicts two Soldiers from the 9th Infantry Division, one from 47th Infantry and one from 15th Engineers as indicated by the unit crests on their caps, buying souvenirs at a combination souvenir and tailor shop. The shop carried just about everything - tour jackets, hats, camouflage clothing, Ao Dais, bags, cameras, lighters, dolls, conical hats, black lacquer paintings, repurposed and repainted boxes and footlockers for storage, cold beer and sodas, and all kinds of small trinkets and much more. This diorama is part of my series “Shopping in Long Thanh” of lighthearted dioramas a bit different from what I normally build.

The figures are all conversions. The first consists of a Soldier from 2d Battalion 47th Infantry (Mechanized) with a tour jacket over his shoulder which is a conversion of a figure that I sculpted with Magic Sculpt that is currently being produced by Custom Dioramics under their Yanks Miniatures line as a guy holding onto a cold beverage. For this figure, I took that guy, changed heads with a Hornet Head and an Alpine Miniatures baseball cap, used a right arm from Hobby Fan, and then sculpted the tour jacket across the figure’s back. The other Soldier is a conversion of a Bravo 6 figure from the Rubber Lady kit. The two older Vietnamese men are conversions of figures from Masterbox’s “Somewhere in Saigon” and “Charlie on the Left” kits. The Vietnamese woman is a conversion of one of the prostitutes from the “Somewhere in Saigon” kit. The cat is from Paracel Miniatures and is painted to resemble one of my cats. All figures were painted with acrylics.

The building facade was made from bricks from Hansa Systems covered with ground texture past that was sanded down to create a stucco look. The roof is from Model Victoria, the shutters from Hansa Systems, and the tile floor is from Plastruct. The boxes and footlockers are from Armand Bayardi, the cooler from value gear, the cameras from Evolution, the hat from Bravo 6, and the cardboard boxes are a combination of offerings from MecModels and Duplicata. Everything else was scratch built using Magic Sculpt putty or sheet styrene. The black lacquer paintings were printed from photos of actual paintings placed on thick card stock and then sprayed with a gloss varnish. The groundwork is Magic Sculpt coated with ground texture paste and painted with acrylics.




And this is how the entire series was displayed at the Tulsa Figure Show.

Thanks for looking.


That’s a pretty awesome trio of builds there James. I really like the way you have done it- like 3d postcards- each with such attention to detail.


Once again, incredible work with extensive detail and excellent paintwork. The way you capture the scene is just magnificent.


I have just spent an amazing half-hour looking at all your recent ‘Vietnam’ era vignettes James, and it has been both a pleasure, and time well spent.

They are all evocative of the era and, having recently returned from a holiday there, capture the colour and architecture that was evident, especially in some of the smaller towns/villages.

Your skill in all aspects, characterisation, painting and landscaping is something for us all to admire…pure brilliance, :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:.

G, :beer:


Thanks, Karl.

Fortunately, I remember some of the slides that my dad took when he was in Vietnam. Unfortunately, they were damaged and destroyed in a flood, so I can’t reference them other than through my memory or if I find the photos of the same locations on the internet or something. I am not sure if I will be stopping with just these three. I am getting ready to work on a fourth, but it may be set in Saigon or Vung Tau instead.

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Thank you.

Thanks, G!

I am glad you enjoyed looking at all of these vignettes and dioramas that I had posted. I am a bit jealous that you have been able to see first hand the beauty of the country as I have not had the chance to visit yet. :slight_smile: Perhaps some day.

I usually build more Infantry-centric dioramas and wanted to venture into something more colorful than the drab greens and browns so this is the result. I still have Infantrymen present, but in a different environment than I normal depict them in.


If it’s true that acid was commonly dropped back then, if you’re looking for mo’ colo*r how about a hallucinogenic psychedelic tableau as viewed though the eyes of a partaker, with a Hendrix soundtrack? For discussion purposes only…

I know that jacket !!


i think she should have been playing “Foxy Lady”


more 9th infantry figures but no sign of Forest Gump.

excellent dioramas, i love them all, well done indeed.


He’s too busy trying to save Bubba.